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Consumers speak out on data protection with connected cars

Publication date: 11 February 2016

On 15 February, FIA Region I revealed detailed consumer concerns related to the connected car, collected from a public survey of 12,000 people throughout the EU. Although many expressed a high level of interest in connectivity, respondents also issued a clear message: vehicle connectivity must respect certain conditions and address privacy concerns before consumers will adopt this technology. Across the 12 countries surveyed, 90% say that vehicle data belongs to the owner or driver of the vehicle. An overwhelming 91% wanted the possibility to switch off connectivity. A further 76% wanted to decide when and for how long consent to access car data should last. In the case of a breakdown, an overwhelming majority felt that they should get to choose who repairs the car.

Citizens are most concerned about the disclosure of private information (88%), commercial use of personal data (86%), vehicle hacking and vehicle tracking all of which is possible with today’s connected vehicles. 95% of people surveyed believed that there was a need for specific legislation to protect their rights to their vehicle and driver data.

Jacob Bangsgaard, FIA Region I Director General said: “Consumers have spoken; they are interested and willing to embrace connected cars if the conditions are right. They require strong data protection with informed consent of why data is tracked and for what purpose. Data protection is a hot topic in the online space and it is time to bring that into the mobility sector. We urge policymakers to take advantage of existing legislation, such as on eCall or vehicle repair and maintenance information, to ensure data protection. To fully empower consumers there must be a free choice of service providers and fair competition. Now is the time for policymakers to define consumer rights for connected cars.”

In the autumn of 2015, FIA Region I revealed exactly what data new vehicles are able to track and transmit. The investigation of two vehicles, a conventionally-fuelled vehicle and an electric vehicle found that, in addition to the creation of driver profiles, information such as, vehicle location, trip length and personal information synced from mobile phones are tracked and can be transmitted back to the manufacturer. The preliminary results of the public survey were also released at this time. Based on the data in these two studies, FIA Region I and its members across Europe launched the My Car My Data campaign (, to raise public awareness on vehicle data and to call for privacy legislation and a fair after-market for connected vehicle services. With connected vehicles, this campaign demands:

Legislation should ensure that drivers should retain ownership of the data and give informed consent on how it is used.

Drivers should have the right to choose their preferred service provider.

Service providers should have the right to develop safe products and functionalities.


Notes to editors

My Car My Data
The My Car My Data public survey included 12,000 people in 12 European countries Austria, Germany, Belgium, France, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, UK, Poland, the Czech Republic, Denmark and Spain approx 1000 replies from each country.

pdf Download the report (6.4 MB)



My Car My Data is about empowering consumers, educating them about connectivity and making sure they are aware of their rights.

  • Consumers should have the right to choose and change your service provider and match the right products and level of service to their needs

  • Consumers should have the right to choose among service providers competing in an open market place and to enable any chosen service provider you choose to access your vehicle data and associated functionalities via an open, secure telematics platform

 Learn more 

An introduction to access to data and your car:

About FIA Region I

The FIA Region I office, based in Brussels, is a consumer body representing 111 Motoring and Touring Clubs and their 38 million members from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The FIA represents the interest of these members as motorists, public transport users, pedestrians and tourists. The FIA’s primary goal is to secure a mobility that is safe, affordable, sustainable and efficient. With these aims in mind, the FIA Region I work focuses on Road Safety, Consumer Protection, Environmental Protection, and the promotion of Sustainable Motoring.


Andrea Campbell
Head of Communications, FIA Region I 
+32 2 282 0813

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